Thursday, January 31, 2013

Card Show-off: Dimes, Quarters, Dollars

A few months ago I attended a card show in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, at the Soaring Eagle Casino on the reservation. They do a couple cards shows a year here, but this was the first one I'd ever gone to, even though it's the closest to my home town. I happened to be visiting the 'rents on a weekend when they were having one of their shows.

So, hells yeah I took a drive to the casino. 

The room they were in was your basic mid-size conference hall, and there were about a dozen different card dealers, as well as a dozen different coin dealers. This was also the first time I ever shared my card show with coins. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Do coin shows have dime boxes, and if so, are they actually dimes, and if so, then that's probably not much of a bargain. 

Well, I didn't ask the coin dealers about their dime boxes, but the card show had some.

I'm always on the lookout for dime box rookies, and here were a few nice snags. Starting top right, we have one of the players involved in the epic naughty Tigers trade of Furbush for Fister. My wife's favorite joke: "Fister, I hardly know her." Yeah, my wife is awesome. 

Technically, this isn't Cole's rookie card, but it's close. I really dig Ramon Hernandez 1996 rookie. What a classic catcher pose. I was surprised to find that Ramon is still playing ball. I thought he'd retired a while ago. And he's still catching at 36.

Believe it or not, this was the first time I saw an '86 Topps Canseco in the dime box, which is considered his XRC, as is the 2003 Upper Deck Michael Bourn. I dig XRCs. They're like rookie cards but ever Xier. 

I was happy to add an Andrelton Simmons to the collection, as well as another McCann and Werth rookie. The Kimbrel is an X-Fractor, which is not an XRC, but it is about as crazy as putting a quarter in a dime box at a coin show.

Glorious Pudge Rodriguez dime box cards! Love 'em. I'm totally hoarding 1991 Topps Traded Pudges.

These were three for a dollar, and great deals. This Greenberg card is a masterpiece. And this Cabrera is not a rookie, XRC or otherwise, but it's close and I needed it for the collection. I just had to have this Zumaya card. Poor Joel. He was throwing more 100+ fastballs than any other pitcher before he got injured in 2010. What a sha--Hey! That's Mr. Verlander by Joel. Sweet!

I'll save most of the huge "hits" for next post, but I'll show a few autos I got for one dollar a piece. Ryan Perry is no longer a Tiger, but he was on this card, and I love the design of these 206 autos. Personally, I think we made a big mistake trading this kid for Collin Balester last year. Perry is still pitching for the Nationals, and I think he has some potential.

Speaking of Tigers that are no longer Tigers, here's my favorite current traded Tiger: Casper Wells. I have a few of his autos from Razor. I love the look of his signature, and his name is so cool. Plus he's from Grand Rapids, Michigan. It looks like Casper might get some real playing time next season with the Mariners. I hope so.

Next post, come back to see the big hits! 

Psst: they're not that big.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trade Bait: Autos and Relics and Such

A few more cards to throw into the trade bait pile. Have a lookie-look.

Will Clark: 2010 Panini Century Collection Jersey (#ed /100, I think)

Adam Lind: 2012 Topps Golden Moments Relics

Jeudy Valdez: 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Signature (#ed 41/50)

Steve Garvey: 2012 Gypsy Queen Framed Mini Relic

Phil Rizzuto: 2012 Retired Number Patches

Isaac Galloway: 2008 Playoff Contenders Autograph

Rafael Furcal: 2000 Topps Stars Game Gear Bats

Kevin Youkilis: 2012 Gypsy Queen Relics

Kurt Suzuki: 2009 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relics

Dontrelle Willis: 2006 Sweet Spot Signatures (#ed 011/125)

Mark Buehrle: 2006 Flair Showcase Stitches

John Buck: 2011 Topps Lineage 1952 Autographs

If you see anything you like, leave me a comment or send me an email (dustinhoff86 at gmail dot com) with an offer. My want lists are at the top of the page, as is a link to the rest of my trade bait that's looking for a good home.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Farewell to the Man: My Tiny, Battered Musial Collection

I was very saddened to hear the news about Stan the Man passing. Baseball will miss him, one to the best players and one of the best humans ever to play the game.

I don't have much of a Musial collection, but I did snag this just a few weeks ago in a lot labeled "Old Baseball Cards." If I broke it down by card, I ended up paying about a dollar for this, for a true legend. It's pretty beat up, but totally a gem to me.

Here's my other Musial, which I bought from my LCS for $2. I really love this subset, and what an honor it is to own and be able to show off this work of art.

The blogging world has already said just about every great thing and interesting fact that can be said about Stan, like how his career hits were split up dead even: 1815 at home, 1815 away. I love that our community can come together to educate and celebrate our heroes. I'll end with a Costas quote that's probably already been posted dozens of times this week: "[Stan] didn't hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn't hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her. ... All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being." 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Iconic Rookies: The Wizard from the King

This iconic rookie is brought to you by the one and only Diamond King who is always a generous trader. And he sent me a card that was a big void in my collection.

It's a little off-center, a little dinged, and completely perfect. Look at those sideburns, the old Padres uniform. I'm not much for headshots, but this one is perfect. I think it's that it feels candid, that this isn't Ozzie posing, but Ozzie just being a badass. I'm not a fan of the 1979 Topps set, but this card makes me appreciate the design, especially the old Topps logo in the baseball.

This is another one of those cards every collection requires. And I have my refractors and The Diamond King to thank. What is he going to do with all those refractors? I have to know!

For the hell of it, because we can never have enough of them, here's a few extra Ripkens also included in the trade:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trip to Fenway: A Boston Dime Box

I recently made a trip to Boston for work. I ended up getting a hotel right by Fenway, which was awesome. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but what baseball fan wouldn't be excited to see Fenway? I celebrated the historic park by jogging a few laps around it at night, which was the highlight of my trip.

I also managed to find a card shop in walking distance from Fenway. It was overpriced on many things, as everything in Boston was (hell, the airports sold cheaper sodas than the shops in the city), but I found some great cards and a few sweet deals.

I'd been wanting this Wertz card for a long time, and this one was in pristine condition. I paid $6 for it. Usually too much for me. But that's the price of doing business in Boston, I figured. And this card is a masterpiece. I love the lone slide going on here and Wertz's goofy looking smile. 

The people who worked at the shop were completely polite and kind, and one of the guys kept pulling boxes of vintage for me, even though I couldn't afford the slabbed Hank Greenbergs and Al Kaline rookies. Once I told him I was a Tigers fan, he started digging up some unique stuff for me, including this:

A 1967 Norm Cash. Nothing special here, you say, besides that penciled mustache some cardboard vandal decided to give Norman. Well, you're wrong. This is a first for the Vealtones Tigers collection. We're going international! This is a Venezuela 1967 Topps card. The main difference is that these cards have a slightly green tint.

No stats and a bunch of Spanish on the back. Neato, right?

Now, I did nail a few sweet bargains. The shop mostly had vintage and high end hits, but the shop owner did pull a box of newer bargain stuff that was all half off, which made each one of these cards cost about a dime.

These are just a few of the highlights. I dig the Best cards which are super thick and numbered, and I didn't know this Straily guy was actually starting to do some solid pitching in the majors. Best of all, of course, are the Avisail Bowman cards. These are my first Avisail cards of any kind. I've been trying to find them for a decent price, hell for a buck or two, and I snagged two of them for a dime each. Not bad. So, I did find some bargains in Boston.

All in all, it was a productive trip. Fenway was nice, the city is beautiful, and I love that accent. The only thing that would've made the trip better would've been if I would've had a beer with Carl Crawford Cards.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Trade Me Your Inges

Have you seen this fella?

Even though we lost Brandon Inge to the Athletics and who knows where or if he'll play in 2013, the Vealtones are still big fans. I'm looking to acquire both an auto and a GU card. If anyone has one of either, let me know, and I'll try to work out a nice deal for you.

Or, perhaps someone knows a TTM address for Mr. Inge?

Thanks, world, in advance, for all your Inge-erosity.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Biggio Got Screwed, but Don't Deny Pudge

I'm still kind of reeling by Biggio and Piazza not being first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. It all makes me get a little worried about what other great players might get snubbed. 

But then I think about this guy.

If any one's getting in first-ballot, it's gotta be Pudge Rodriguez, right? One of the best catchers of all time, and most certainly the best of my generation. But after this year's voting, a tinge of doubt creeps in. What a travesty it would be if Ivan didn't get in immediately. He will though, right? The voters will be done punishing steroid suspicions by then, right?

To celebrate my confidence, I'm posting a few of my recent Pudge acquisitions from eBay. Above is one of my favorites. I love the design of that card, the double swatches, the full-gear picture, all the shiny symmetry. 

As opposed to this terribly designed card. Could it be more boring, white swatch with white background and Pudge running rather than hitting or behind the mask? This is where an attempt at classy turned into a yawn.

Here's a much more interesting design. I dig the ticket theme Authentix pulled off on these GU cards, right down to the perforated and torn end that makes the card surprisingly shorter. Sure, the picture is poorly chosen, but the rest of this card is great.

One blue swatch deserves another. And here we have a completely ridiculous design with 2003 Ultra's Moonshots insert set. This card was just so stupid, I had to add it to the player collection. Stupid beats the hell out of SP boring.

Let's end on a high note. Diamond Kings just knew how to do a classy yet interesting design, and I love their double bat/jersey GU materials. Great art, nice frame, foil insignia, Pudge is getting the royal treatment he deserves on this card.

My rule when shopping for GUs on eBay is to try to stay under $2 shipped, and each of these cards were. Let's hope those bargains don't influence the Hall of Fame voters to pull a Biggio on Pudge.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Acquiring Iconic Rookies: The Voters Wrong Biggio

No one got into the hall of fame today, and I kind of can't believe it.  My childhood enjoyed a bevy of amazing catchers, including, of course, Mr. I-Rod, Piazza, and Biggio. And, OK, Biggio wasn't a catcher for all that long, but that's how I'll always remember him, at the beginning of the '90s. I'm a big fan of Biggio, and he's in the 3000-hit club Come on! That should be an automatic in. He had a hell of a career, and no association with steroids, as far as I knew. He deserved that first ballot.

I'd been searching for an '88 Biggio rookie for a long time, and found this one on eBay for less than a buck. And that's about the respect Biggio got from the voters. I frequently find '89 Biggio rookies in the dime boxes, and today we witnessed the hall of fame voters tossing Biggio into the so-so. 

Really, I realize he'll get in, probably in the next year or two, but I was so sure he'd get in this year. A tiny bit of my childhood feels violated by the voting today, though. Biggio deserved it.

Biggio getting snubbed doesn't make this rookie any less iconic, though. Everyone's collection needs an '88 Biggio XRC.